The proposals retain the four-storey Victorian Board School building which currently occupies part of the site, refurbishing and remodeling it to make the most of its generous ceiling heights and large opening windows.
Set against the existing building, a new entrance pavilion provides a welcoming new pedestrian access for students and visitors and leads to a new four storey building for science, technology, engineering and maths (known as STEM). A new school hall and drama studio opens onto a linear external play area, which includes space for outdoor teaching, dining and performance and leads to a new stand-alone sports hall.
Internally, the design avoids or minimises the need for corridors and creates a series of flexible spaces through which students will circulate as they move around the school. The STEM building provides a range of open and enclosed learning spaces grouped around a central atrium. Engineering workshops for fabrication and testing are enclosed by glass partitions to maximise visibility, while research and design activities will take place in the open, central areas.
The new buildings are largely brickwork, with windows set in pairs to reflect the rhythm and scale of the Victorian school and the adjacent terraced housing. The new entrance pavilion and drama studio are clad in metal panels, and connective elements such as soffits, linings and canopies link the buildings and the spaces between them into a unified campus.
Construction began this month and is being led by 4 Futures, Southwark's local education partnership. Fabrik are landscape architects on this project.